State campaign finance laws change constantly, but not always this quickly. In late March, the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) issued an advisory opinion stating that independent expenditure-only political committees (Super PACs) in New Jersey would be subject to the same contribution limits as other New Jersey political committees.

At that time, ELEC said that it lacked authority to decline to enforce the limits, even while recognizing that its decisions might well be contrary to a growing number of federal and state courts holding that contribution limits on independent groups are unconstitutional. But after being sued in federal district court for a temporary injunction by the same group who requested the advisory opinion, ELEC changed course. On April 25, ELEC consented to a preliminary injunction, prohibiting the agency from enforcing contribution limits against Super PACs in New Jersey. It has been reported that at its meeting last week, ELEC agreed to a permanent injunction from enforcing the limits, but this has not yet been formalized in court.

Also reported from that meeting is that ELEC will support legislation requiring independent expenditure groups to disclose their donors if they do not qualify as state political committees, which are already required to do so. We will monitor the legislation and provide updates as information becomes available.